Saturday, November 22, 2014

Waterfowl Arriving - Lake Mattamuskeet

My friend and I headed down to Lake Mattamuskeet early this morning to see what was coming in. With weather today being the best out of the next several, we wanted to take advantage of it.

The first overhead flock came by so fast that you only had time to take a quick shot for later identification.  It was a nice surprise to find it was a large flock of Redheads.  Over the last couple of years I have only seen a few there so to see these.....

and later these, we were thrilled!

The second overhead flock (not a good shot)
was at a greater distance and I knew by their body shape they were Northern Pintails.  As more come in all the ducks will get less and less flighty and they will begin getting closer.

The lake was alive with sound.  I love hearing the Tundra Swan.  There were singles.....

and there were family units.  The three young swans still grayish in color are under the watchful eyes of their parents.

We counted a group of 34 Great Egrets all gathering in a group of pine trees.  We got tickled because they reminded us of a bunch of chickens clucking.

A Black-crowned Night Heron was probably the most photographed bird in the refuge today.  It was very obliging to pose so nicely.  They are so striking with their red eye.

Earlier in the day we saw a rather large flock of white pelicans fly over but they were out of range. Late in the afternoon as we were getting ready to leave, another small flock of seven came closer by. They are such odd but net looking birds.

In the morning we met an individual from Kentucky visiting our State for the week.   This was his first visit to the refuge and we enjoyed meeting and talking with him.  He gave us each a copy of a book he had recently published.  John....we read through some during our lunch break and we thank you.  I hope you have a good week and see lots of birds.  Enjoy your visit.


ME2NC said...

Hubby and I went on the 13th. Looks like it has picked up more since then. Love the Black-crowned Night Heron. I have only seen those in Florida. We see white Pelicans flying over the water here occasionally but they are usually pretty high. Glad you had a good viewing day.

Paula said...

It was a good day. There were lots of things farther out. We are going to go back probably late December or early January. The grasses are beginning to die down now so things are getting easier to see.

ME2NC said...

Forgot to ask, have they flooded the right side of the road on Wildlife DR? That was still pretty dry compared to what it was the first year that I went there.

Paula said...

Hey Gladys, There was considerable more water than the last time I went. Now that the grasses are dying back, there is less water being taken up too. The backside along Wildlife Drive is still dry in spots but more water than in October. I keep hoping the refuge folks will still let in some additional water back to the way it was in 2008. There was way more waterfowl when there was additional water.